Feminism and Science: Mechanism Without Reductionism

  title={Feminism and Science: Mechanism Without Reductionism},
  author={Carla Fehr},
  journal={NWSA Journal},
  pages={136 - 156}
  • C. Fehr
  • Published 27 May 2004
  • Art
  • NWSA Journal
During the scientific revolution reductionism and mechanism were introduced together. These concepts remained intertwined through much of the ensuing history of philosophy and science, resulting in the privileging of approaches to research that focus on the smallest bits of nature. This combination of concepts has been the object of intense feminist criticism, as it encourages biological determinism, narrows researchers' choices of problems and methods, and allows researchers to ignore the… 
Science Education in India and Feminist Critiques of Science
The ‘liberal’ feminist perspective on science problematises the presence of fewer women than men in science and believes that increasing their number would qualify as social change. On the other
Feminist and Non-feminist Philosophy of Biology: Parallels, Differences, and Prospects for Future Engagements
I identify several substantive parallels in the issues of interest, and methodological and conceptual frameworks employed, in the research traditions of feminist and non-feminist philosophy of
Relating traditional and academic ecological knowledge: mechanistic and holistic epistemologies across cultures
It is argued that holders of TEK are perfectly capable of identifying mechanisms that underlie ecological phenomena while AEK often relies on non-mechanistic strategies of dealing with ecological complexity.
Towards the Methodological Turn in the Philosophy of Science
This chapter demonstrates that biology and economics are two fertile fields for the philosophy of science and shows how biological and economic mechanisms and causality can be synthesized.
This thesis examines the shifting representation of the female-machine embodied in the image of the female automaton, robot and cyborg. It is argued that the female-machine is an abject, therefore,
Autogynephilia: A scientific review, feminist analysis, and alternative ‘embodiment fantasies’ model
  • J. Serano
  • Psychology
    The Sociological Review
  • 2020
It is generally accepted within psychology and among trans health providers that transgender people who transition do so because they have a gender identity that is incongruent with their
Towards an "Invested Empirical Method": Reclaiming Feminist Science Studies
This article summarizes some of the contributions of feminist science scholars in order to explore the possibilities of a critical science of sex, gender, and sexuality, and suggests the radical
Science Studies Perspectives on Animal Behavior Research: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Gendered Impacts
This case study examines differences between how the animal‐behavior‐research fields of ethology and sociobiology account for female ornamental traits. I address three questions: 1) Why were female
Natural selection as a paradigm of opportunism in biology
The methodological reductionism at the heart of evolutionary biology certainly does offer insightful empirical results reported in the scientific literature, but it is observed to be a purely reflexive mechanism and not one capable of producing the kind of innovation necessary for the more revolutionary changes in an organism’s systems.


Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry
Conventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of
Feminism and Science
  • E. Keller
  • Education
    Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
  • 1982
Over the past fifteen years, a new dimension to the analysis of science has emerged. Feminist theory, combined with the insights of recent developments in the history, philosophy, and sociology of
Body, Bias, and Behavior: A Comparative Analysis of Reasoning in Two Areas of Biological Science
Our intention in this essay is to bring to light the variety in the ways masculine bias can express itself in the content and processes of scientific research. The discussion focuses on the two areas
The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science
This important, intellectually powerful book is often very funny in relating historical reasons why there are so few women scientists.
Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.
The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science.
Have Only Men Evolved
Science is made by people who live at a specific time in a specific place and whose thought patterns reflect the truths that are accepted by the wider society. Because scientific explanations have
Can There Be A Feminist Science?
This paper explores a number of recent proposals regarding “feminist science” and rejects a content-based approach in favor of a process-based approach to characterizing feminist science. Philosophy
Four decades of scientific explanation
As Aristotle stated, scientific explanation is based on deductive argument - yet, Wesley C. Salmon points out, not all deductive arguments are qualified explanations. The validity of the explanation
Interpreting Gender
ENDER IS A strange word within feminism. While many of us assume it has a clear and commonly understood meaning, it is actually used in at least two very different and, indeed, somewhat contradictory
The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction
Emily Martin has produced a powerful study of the dialectic between medical metaphors for women's reproductive processes and women's own views of those processes, exposing hidden cultural assumptions about the nature of reality.